Tools used accounting/billing

### On Tue, 5 Mar 2002 15:35:59 -0800, "H. Michael Smith, Jr."
### <> casually decided to expound upon
### <> the following thoughts about "Tools used
### accounting/billing":

Can anyone suggest tools to use for gathering statistics for billing
purposes? I would like to know what tools are most common among ISPs.

Depends on how you're billing and how complex a network you have. At the
provider I worked at, we billed based on rate and so we collected port level
statistics, calculated rate fron in/out octets as needed, and generated
billing from that. Our tools were at first homegrown (mainly perl based
snmp collectors) but we had started looking at commercial vendor solutions
too. One very large requirement was that of fault-tolerance. Having your
pollers in one or two locations means you can lose valuable port utilisation
statistics during even a small network outage due to counter rollovers at
high linerates. It was important to be able to scale out a large number of
collectors positioned close in to the target devices with the ability to
fall back to a store-and-forward mode and remain there for extended periods
of time in case WAN connectivity to the datastore fails and then recover and
merge data once connectivity was restored. It was also important to have
backup and failover capabilities built into the collector so that a
poller/collector could take over for one that has failed. One of the
vendors that impressed us was RiverSoft since their architecture lent itself
well to establishing a scalable fault-tolerant deployment and was engineered
along similar design principles as our homegrown tools.